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Tooth abscess

Mouth with abscessed tooth and pocket of pus in gums near it, with inside detail of tooth with healthy pulp and abscessed tooth with infected pulp

An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has a pocket of pus in the tissue next to it. This often occurs because the inside (pulp) of a tooth is infected and the bacteria spread to the tissue underneath the tooth. An abscess usually causes throbbing pain in the tooth and red, swollen gums.

Current as of: June 30, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry

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